Tracking Calories vs Consuming Nutrients
You know I'm always talking about avoiding toxins and getting nutrients into your body, right? With all my talk about eating whole plant foods people still ask about counting calories and I understand why! First of all that is how we've been conditioned and secondly we have goals!!
Most of us have goals to lose weight, so how does plant based eating fit into weight loss? First and foremost we need to especially focus on nutrients when losing weight, the last thing we need is to get sick and blow the whole plan. Am I right?
As you may know I discovered a GREAT tool for tracking nutrients called Cronometer. I love it because it's easy to see what nutrients you might be lacking so you can make the change accordingly and it's also easy to see what bad stuff (cholesterol, fat, etc) you are getting too much of as well!
But what about tracking calories? I found a great tool that doesn't necessarily track calories, but assigns points to your food and is super easy to use. My husband heard about iTrack Bites from a co-worker who had lost a lot of weight and most recently my husband (over the past 4 months) has lost close to 20 lbs on a plant based nutrition plan tracking his consumption on iTrack Bites.
The first thing I like about this app is that fruit and veggies are FREE, FREE, FREE!! ZERO points! I like this because it encourages you to actually consume nutrients!!
Once I started using the app I would scan bar codes at the supermarket for those few processed items I consume. For me this meant changing the brand and type of tortillas corn chips, nut mix, and rice that I use. For my husband it meant changing the brand of light beer that he drinks. They do a great job on beer, unfortunately they kind of lump all the wine together.
This has helped me immensely with my body goals! I say it that way because the number on the scale is just one factor, I just want to look and feel great and not have to squeeze into my clothes all the time (I refuse to buy more fat clothes)!
My problem has always been my weekends, when my two vices of cheese and wine are consumed more freely than during the week. That wine consumption also tends to lend toward more food consumption as well!
I was fed up the beginning of the week and finally was bound and determined to slim down as I've been 5 lbs over my next goal for quite some time.
For the past 5 days I used my iTrack Bites, didn't drink wine or eat any cheese, and lost 4 lbs (almost to goal)! I even had chocolate EVERY SINGLE DAY! I'm happy to share my food diary with you, but keep in mind that our tastes may be different. My goal is to show you that with minor food changes, a lot of discipline, and a good tracking app your goals are within reach.
One caveat on goals, I recommend you set goals along the way to your final destination. My 5 lb goal is just my next step along the way, I assure you there will be another goal to reach after this one is fully achieved.
For these past 5 days (Sun-Thu) I pretty much ate the same thing every day just because I knew how many points each item counted already. Also, I worked out 1 hr a day each day (your activity is also tracked on iTrack Bites).
I am listing below what I ate each day, but this is just an example. You can come up with your own plan that satisfy your taste-buds. In addition to this plan I also used two additional weight loss tricks: 1. Brushing my teeth after every meal. 2. Going to bed early before I start craving more food.
Ali's 5 Day Diet to Lose 4 lbs:
BREAKFAST - Advocare Greens Snack Shake: This is a plant based chocolate flavor shake. I mix it with 14 oz of water, 1/2 a banana, 3 strawberries, blueberries, and a local wildflower honey. You can mix however you like! This shake is filled with great veggies and lots of plant based protein!
WORKOUT - One hour Jazzercise Class!
PRE-LUNCH - Leafy green salad with spinach, romaine lettuce, alfalfa sprouts and a tablespoon of Marzetti Avocado Ranch Dressing. I eat this while preparing lunch because when I get back from Jazzercise I am starving! Plus it is important to have leafy greens EVERY SINGLE DAY!
LUNCH - Seeds of Change Basmati Rice (1/2 pack), Sauteed Veggies (I use mushrooms, along with diced red onions, sweet onions, yellow onions, and diced tri-color peppers), cooked with Kikomani Stir Fry Sauce.
SNACK - 1/2 cup Planter's NUT-trition Women's Health Mixx This is where I enjoy a little dark chocolate every day and also get some great plant based protein.
DINNER - Seeds of Change Basmati Rice (1/2 pack), Sauteed Veggies (I use mushrooms, along with diced red onions, sweet onions, yellow onions, and diced tri-color peppers), cooked with Kikomani Stir Fry Sauce.
Throughout the day I also drink at least 5 bottles of spring water. The spring water, the veggies, and also the plant based shake will flush your system out and they count as ZERO points! They are actually negative calories in reality once the nutrients move through your system and flush out toxins!
A couple time saving tips:
Cook LUNCH and DINNER at the same time and just split it up into 2 separate containers.
Buy the pre-diced onions and peppers. It's more expensive, but might be worth it if you're on a tight schedule.
Let me know if you try out this app and how you like it! I hope you are able to have similar results. I will say it seemed to be MUCH easier for my husband to lose the weight than me. But I finally have it figured out! As usual it comes down to discipline. I could really only do consecutive 5 days of being this strict... because life is too short and girls just wanna have fun (especially on the weekends)!!! Oh... wow... I really dated myself there.
btw... I do NOT get paid by ANY of these companies to provide these links. I am an Advocare distributor but that is all.